HTML5 And WebGL: The Future Of Cloud Gaming

HTML5 And WebGL: The Future Of Cloud Gaming

Hypertext Markup Language, also known as HTML, has long been the standard used in creating web pages and content. Originally created in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, also credited as being the father of the World Wide Web, HTML uses tags and angle brackets to designate elements inside the web page.


HTML5 is the fifth revision of the language and is projected to be a replacement for not only standard HTML, but also XHTML 1 and DOM Level 2 HTML. WebGL is an application programming interface, also known as an API, used in conjunction with Javascript.

So how exactly is WebGL, in conjunction with HTML5, the answer to the future of cloud gaming? First, let’s take a look at some of the different problems it addresses.


Cloud gaming differs from streaming video or music in that it is impossible to buffer it. Due to the fact that each millisecond can include input by the game player, images and content cannot be preloaded, and must be presented in real time. This leads to one of the chief annoyances of cloud gaming: latency.

While many have contended that HTML5 alone would be unable to deliver the same type of graphic quality as that found in traditional consoles, the introduction of WebGL may change that. WebGL provides access to hardware acceleration, similar to what is available for locally-installed games. This would increase the amount of power at your device’s disposal by an order of magnitude.

Cross-Platform Support

Another obstacle surmounted by the marriage between HTML5 and WebGL is the native compatibility across a wide range of devices. HTML5 runs directly inside a web browser, such as Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. This allows the game to be played on any device capable of running the browser in question.


Due to the fact that many of the assets contained inside an online game based on HTML5 and WebGL are downloaded and cached prior to, and during, gameplay, more modest bandwidth capabilities are possible. This holds true even when it comes to graphics-intensive titles, allowing much more powerful games to be available without excessive bandwidth requirements.


While many industry experts agree that HTML5 and WebGL have a bright future, they have not quite made the leap into mainstream adoption as of yet. Primary driving forces behind this include:

Content Library

As with most newer technologies, WebGL in HTML5 is still being considered by developers of different types. New technologies require extensive testing, as well as enough advantages to adopt them into widespread usage. As the number of companies that use WebGL as their base code grows, expect the available content library to expand dramatically.


While graphics may be the one of the most important factors in a successful game, audio quality also pays a big part. Unfortunately, the audio available with HTML5 has been buggy, to say the least. A wide range of fixes are available, however, for most major browsers.

Do you have any thoughts you would like to share about WebGL and HTML5? Let us know in the Comments section below!

By Joe Pellicone

About Joe Pellicone

In 2011, Joe launched his writing career, dealing primarily with the tech topics he is so familiar with (Tech & Gaming). Today, Joe uses his experience and talent to create quality and enjoyable pieces on everything from gaming hardware and software, to individual games and gaming companies.